Office of Donor Relations & Stewardship

The donor-centered mission of the Office of Donor Relations and Stewardship is to develop and sustain mutually gratifying lifelong relationships between Otterbein University and its donors. We provide timely acknowledgment and careful stewardship of the gifts our donors entrust to the University. We educate our constituents on the range of opportunities and experiences available to them to engage in the life of the University.

We recognize donors for their contributions of time and treasure and maintain ongoing communication about their impact on the Otterbein community.

Thanks to donors like you, our students have transformational opportunities to learn and lead throughout their Otterbein experience.

Students share their gratitude:

“Your scholarship impacted my journey in many different ways. College probably wouldn’t have been possible for me without assistance, so I want to say that I am beyond thankful. This scholarship was a part of my great Otterbein journey – a journey that made me who I am today”
– Hannah, Grove City, Ohio

Student Impact Spotlights

Donor Generosity Spotlights

Faculty and Campus Impact

Giving Societies

Donor Recognition

We are extremely grateful for the philanthropic support each year from alumni, parents, and friends. In appreciation of this investment in our mission, Otterbein recognizes donors of all levels in a variety of ways, including:

  • Mary. B. Thomas ’28 Commitment to Otterbein Award
  • Annual Giving Societies
  • Named Campus Buildings and Spaces
  • Donor Recognition Events
  • Impact Reports

Giving Resources

Donor Bill of Rights
Otterbein University strives to uphold the ideals of the Donor Bill of Rights. The Donor Bill of Rights ensures that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the general public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the nonprofit organizations and causes they are asked to support. It was created by the American Association of Fund Raising Counsel (AAFRC), the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a gift to Otterbein University?

  • Phone 
    If you prefer to make your gift over the phone, please call 614-823-1400 or call toll free at 888-614-2600.
  • Mail
    To mail a gift, please make your check payable to Otterbein University. If you wish to designate your gift to a certain area, please write that in the memo line of the check.
    Mailing address:

    Otterbein University
    Attn: Institutional Advancement
    1 S. Grove Street
    Westerville, OH 43081

    For security and safety reasons, do not mail cash donations. Instead, please deliver to:

    Otterbein University
    Attn: Institutional Advancement
    131 W. Park Street
    Westerville, OH 43081

What are the different ways I can choose to support?
Otterbein offers a variety of ways you can choose to make your donation. Click here to learn more about how to give.

Can I choose what my gift supports?
Absolutely! Otterbein University believes you should be able to support what matters most to YOU. In addition to a number of pre-established endowed funds that support a variety of areas, we also encourage donors to consider supporting the Otterbein Fund, our unrestricted fund that helps to support the greatest needs of the University each year. For more information, please contact Tracy Rush at or 614-823-1290.

In addition, if you are interested in establishing your own endowed fund, click here for more information.

When is the best time to make my gift?
This depends on your philanthropic goals. Otterbein’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30. If you make your gift between those months, your contribution will count toward the University’s fundraising goal that fiscal year. To take advantage of tax benefits, your gift must be made by the end of the calendar year. Please consult a financial adviser if you are considering the tax advantages of making a gift to Otterbein.

I can’t make a large donation to Otterbein. Does my gift even make a difference?
Most definitely, yes! Every gift to Otterbein, no matter the size, supports our students and advances the work of our faculty.

Can you charge my credit card on a recurring schedule for my gift?
Yes. You can authorize your credit card to be automatically charged on an ongoing or limited basis. Simply check the “recurring” box on the giving form when you make your donation.

What is a giving society? How do I qualify for one?
Otterbein University’s giving societies honor and recognize donors for their continued support of our mission and vision. Learn about how you can qualify for each society.

Can I make a gift in honor or memory of someone?
Yes, this type of gift is a thoughtful and meaningful way to recognize the accomplishments or memory of a colleague, professor, friend, or relative. Our online giving form will allow you to indicate if your gift is in honor or memory of someone. If you are sending a donation into our office, please indicate their name on the memo line of your check. The Office of Advancement Services notifies the honoree or living relative(s) regarding all gifts made in this way.

Dedicated trees and benches are also thoughtful gestures to memorialize loved ones, however, the University has in place special giving policies for such circumstances, which take into account the ability for trees/benches to be maintained by our Facilities department on an annual basis, as well as the overall campus grounds master planning. For more information, contact the Advancement Services Team and Donor Relations Team at 614-823-1639.

How much of my gift is tax-deductible?
That depends on the nature of your gift. Most gifts are at least partially deductible. If you receive any goods or services in return for your gift, such as auction items or tickets, the fair-market value of those items is not tax-deductible. Please consult your tax advisor to determine the tax deductibility of your gift.

Who do I contact to find out information about a gift I’ve already made?
The Advancement Services Team would be happy to assist you. Please call 614-823-1290 or email .

How do I set up a scholarship?
If you’d like to create a scholarship, please contact Kathleen Bonte, the Executive Director of Development, at or 614-823-2707. We’ll work with you to better understand your vision for the scholarship, as well as your financial commitment.

Donor Events

Otterbein hosts events throughout the year that honor and recognize our generous donors. These events also offer donors the opportunity to meet the students who are impacted by their support.

Our main annual events include:

  • Giving Societies Breakfast at Homecoming and Family Weekend
  • Fall Donor Recognition Event
  • Spring Scholar and Donor Luncheon
  • Named Space Dedications

Throughout the year, we also plan a variety of personalized donor experiences as well as opportunities for our students to learn more about how and why donors support Otterbein. Thank-a-Donor Day is just one example of how we encourage our students to learn more about the impact of philanthropy.

To see photos from some of our past donor events, click on the links below:

Every gift impacts Otterbein’s ability to model values that serve the common good and to foster a place to belong and thrive for students, faculty, and the community. Thank you.